While many attendees of this year’s Connect Sports Marketplace are seasoned trade-show veterans, it’s never a bad idea to brush up on best practices while on-site. And for those who are new to our show, this will be the best way for you to learn how how to make the most out of your time in Orlando. We’ve asked both suppliers and rights holders to tell you how they made the most out of the inaugural show a year ago. What’s the best way to take advantage of your appointments? What should you do before the Marketplace begins? For those answers and more, read on. Jordan Dillon Director of Junior Olympic Events and Special Projects USA Gymnastics Review all of the information being provided before setting your marketplace appointments. I serve on the Connect Sports Executive Advisory Group and we’ve broken down the traditional appointment process to focus on better matching between you and the venues and facilities. When you’re reviewing your appointments, pay particular attention to the venue information and destination information that Connect Sports has collected to ensure you’re requesting appointments with the CVBs and sports commissions that you have the highest probability of doing business with. They’ve created detailed profiles on each CVB and sports commission’s venues to help you identify who has the venues and facilities that you need. Monica Paul Vice President of Sports Dallas CVB Do not miss the Venue Matching Reception.This is new for 2014 but will put you in an atmosphere where you’re surrounded by the Rights Holders and Sports Planners that need the venues that you have. Not only that, it will be done in a fun and interactive setting with music, drinks, food, etc. You already know who needs the venues that you have but the Venue Matching Reception will show you who you didn’t know that you could do business with. Corey Petersen, CSEE Director of Sports Development Richmond Region Tourism Take full advantage of the education sessions. Connect Sports will be taking a different approach on sharing with your peers with two “Worst Case Practice” sessions focused on what not to do during the bid process and site inspections. There will also be sessions on creating local organizing committees, leadership development, getting yourself sponsored, ROI and metrics, and personal development as well. Mike Hill Senior Director of Sports Sales Hilton Worldwide When preparing for your appointments, make sure to see if rights holders and sports planners use a third party/intermediary. Getting to know both the rights holders and the third party company will help build a stronger business relationship. Also, don’t miss the Third Party Lounge during the Venue Matching Reception—this will help you build and strengthen relationships with all of the intermediaries that will attend Connect Sports Marketplace. On Saturday, I highly suggest that you don’t miss the “Worst Case Practices” session. This will focus on common mistakes during the event bid process and site inspections/FAM trips. I am confident you will take away valuable insight you can apply when you get home.